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Title: A Comprehensive Observational Study of the FRB 121102 Persistent Radio Source

FRB 121102 is the first fast radio burst to be spatially associated with a persistent radio source (QRS 121102), the nature of which remains unknown. We constrain the physical size of QRS 121102 by measuring its flux-density variability with the VLA from 12 to 26 GHz. Any such variability would likely be due to Galactic refractive scintillation and would require the source radius to be ≲1017cm at the host-galaxy redshift. We found the radio variability to be lower than the scintillation theory predictions for such a small source, leaving open the possibility for non-AGN models for QRS 121102. In addition, we roughly estimated the mass of any potential supermassive black hole (BH) associated with QRS 121102 from the line width of the host-galaxy Hαemission using a new optical spectrum from the Keck Observatory. The line width indicates a supermassive BH mass of ≲104∼5M, too low for the observed radio luminosity and X-ray luminosity constraints, if QRS 121102 were an AGN. Finally, some dwarf galaxies that host supermassive BHs may be the stripped cores of massive galaxies during tidal interactions with companion systems. We find no nearby galaxy at the same redshift as the QRS 121102 host from low-resolution Keck spectra or the PanSTARRS catalog. In conclusion, we find no evidence supporting the hypothesis that QRS 121102 is an AGN. We instead argue that the inferred size and flat radio spectrum favor a plerion interpretation. We urge continued broadband radio monitoring of QRS 121102 to search for long-term evolution.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 185
["Article No. 185"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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